Head-Fi is without a doubt the largest online community of headphone and personal audio enthusiasts in the world, while CanJam Global is an organisation that, under the auspices of Head-Fi, produces an international series of headphone and personal audio expositions. Together, Head-Fi and CanJam Global represent the ‘tip of the spear’ in the rapidly expanding movement toward wider enjoyment of all things headphone-related.
Here, Hi-Fi+ magazine (itself a leading proponent of high performance personal audio) takes a moment to interview Head-Fi founder Jude Mansilla and CanJam Global head Ethan Opolion.
This is Part 1 of a two-part interview.
Hi-Fi+: How and when was Head-Fi founded? In the beginning, did you foresee it achieving the level of popularity it enjoys today?
Jude Mansilla: Head-Fi was founded in 2001, when the first headphone forum (HeadWize)--of which I was a frequently posting member--was having stability issues. It had been down for weeks in total that year so a few alternative forums were started by HeadWize members, Head-Fi being the one that grew into the community's new home.
Back then (on HeadWize and in the first days of Head-Fi) the community was small, but growing. At any given time there might be 25 to 50 people online. Today, there are thousands on Head-Fi at a time.
It was pretty clear to me the community was going to grow, but no, I didn't foresee it reaching the level of growth it has.